October 31, 2018

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

"The U.S. government planned to break up Indian Territory and make it a part of what would be a new state called Oklahoma." ~ pg. 48

Today is Halloween and you may be dressed in costume or passing out candy to children. Take a few minutes to grab a warm beverage and allow me to share a review of a real life horror story.

Have you ever heard the tales of the Osage Hills? It is a story of the American frontier where cowboys and Indians were said to roam. Where the Osage held black gold. Where the father of Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie explained the government would soon make the Osage move away so white people could settle on the best land. It is also where the richest people in the world lived in the 1920s.

A brief history lesson for my bookhearts. The Osage Indians in Oklahoma discovered oil beneath their land. With this fortune, they were able to build mansions, send children to study abroad and boost the economy. Until they were forced to cede acres of their land and moved to Kansas. Then murders began. They were being mysteriously killed off one by one, along with anyone who investigated the murders. So enters the newly created FBI. The Osage murders was the Federal Bureau of Investigation's first major case. A conspiracy soon unraveled thanks to the FBI together with the last living Osage, J. Edgar Hoover, and a Texas Ranger named Tom White. All are illustrated in Killers of the Flower Moon book along with a note on sources.

"History is a merciless judge." ~ pg. 219

Killers of the Flower Moon may be non-fiction but it has a novel feel. A full-blood Osage woman named Mollie Burkhart lost her entire family in mysterious sinister ways. Her money was also tied up in a corrupt system of guardianship. Her story is told in a timeline of events that coincide with the FBI investigation.

The Washington Post noted in a headline: CONSPIRACY BELIEVED TO KILL RICH INDIANS. The Osage murders created terror in the community. People suspected neighbors, friends and even family. Souls were scalped. Hearts were shot. Bodies were poisoned. It was a gotdamn bloody crime in American history! Creepier than any horror film. Very appalling to read and a reality check. This country been ain't shit. Yet kudos to writer David Grann for his journalism and story-telling skills. This is a true tragic tale that I pray won't repeat history. 

"Like most Americans, when I was in school, I never read about the murders in any books; it was as if these crimes had been excised from history." ~ pg. 208

I do not read or review non-fiction books often. So when I do take the time to study history through pages, it is meaningful. Killers of the Flower Moon was not on my radar until it was recommended by my Sistah J. I buddy read with Chickadee so we could discuss chapters as we read along. What a riveting true-life murder mystery it turned out to be!

Title: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Author: David Grann
Published: April 2017
Pages: 303
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤


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